Ghee is an important ingredient in several Indian dishes especially the sweets. It is a type of clarified butter that originated in ancient India. It is also widely popular in Middle Eastern Cuisines, Indian subcontinent cuisines, and Southeast Asian cuisines.
This nutty and aromatic type of butter is formed when the water completely evaporates from the traditional clarified milk, and the fat gets separated from the milk solids. Simmering of butter is an important step in the production of ghee as it is this very process that makes it aromatic and nutty.
Whether ghee is good for us or bad for us is a subject of debate, and in this article, we will focus on some healthy substitutes that you can use in place of ghee.
Reasons To Use Ghee Substitutes
There are several reasons to use a substitute for ghee instead of the ghee itself. Some of these are as follows:-
(1) Vegan Lifestyle
Ghee is made from the clarified butter which itself is made from the milk, an animal product.
Being a vegan you don’t want to use any product that has come from the animals either directly or indirectly. In the case of ghee, the relation is very clear and direct.
(2) You Forgot Buying The Ghee
So, you are fascinated by the Indian sweets and would like to make some of them at your home. After watching a couple of youtube videos, you have bought all the necessary ingredients from the market, but you forgot the most important item “Ghee”.
Going for another trip to the market is one thing, but if you are short on time then you can use any of the ghee substitutes which we will shortly discuss in the article.
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(3) Ghee is Foreign To You
This is one of the most important and common reasons to use a ghee substitute. If you have never used ghee in your recipe and are confused about whether to use it or not, then you can select the easy path of not using it. Easy because this way you won’t be stressed about whether it will have any bad effect, is it good for digestion and other numerous questions that come to your mind.
Best Ghee Substitutes
There are several food items which can be used as a substitute for ghee. All these items are readily available in the market, and you might already be using some ( if not all) of these items in your kitchen.
Food items that can be used as an alternative to ghee are as follows:-
(1) Clarified Butter
This is the first and foremost item which can be used as a ghee substitute. It is closely linked to the ghee as ghee itself is a class of clarified butter.
When consumed in moderation, butter is good for us as it improves our gastrointestinal health, and as well as provide numerous other benefits.
It is an excellent source of fatty acids such as butyrate, a short-chain fatty acid that acts as a source of energy for the cells in our Intestines, and also reduces intestinal inflammation, and as well as regulates the electrolyte balance.
Be cautious of the consumption as overindulging in butter may lead to weight gain because of the higher calories in them, and as well as increases the risk of cardiovascular problems due to the presence of saturated fats in them.
To use clarified butter as ghee, it is suggested to add some olive oil to the clarified butter. This will provide the same nutty flavor for which ghee is famous for.
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(2) Olive Oil
Another substitute for the ghee which is also considered as the healthiest option is the extra virgin olive oil.
Being a rich source of antioxidants and monounsaturated fatty acids, it provides numerous health benefits to us such as healthy heart, improved cardiovascular health, reduced risk of type-2 diabetes and so on.
Using extra virgin oil as a ghee substitute also enhances the flavor of the dishes that require sauteing and roasting.
Although olive oil is considered as the healthiest oil, there are some points you should keep in mind.
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Another useful alternative for the ghee is the regular salty butter we get from the market. It is not a healthy alternative like olive oil, but you can use a combination of regular butter and olive oil for frying purposes.
This will ensure that the food doesn’t get over-fried, and will prevent the over-browning of the food.
(4) Coconut Oil
While baking, if you want to substitute ghee with a better option for a rich flavor, coconut oil can be a good choice. It gives the dish an enriched aroma.
Coconut oil is another natural substitute for the ghee. It can also be considered as a better option for the ghee as it not only provides numerous health benefits, but also adds a rich flavor to the dish, and as well as enhances the aroma of the food.
Using coconut oil is a healthy choice and provides numerous benefits
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(5) Canola Oil
Canola oil is a versatile vegetable oil derived from a variety of rapeseed which is low in Euric acid. This oil can be used for various purposes such as grilling, stir-frying and baking, and also as a substitute for ghee.
It can also be used for sauteing vegetables and for making curries.
It can be used in the same manner and quantity as the ghee.
Although canola oil is a good substitute for the ghee there are some concerns over the negative impact of canola oil on our health so it’s better to decide after knowing about both pros and cons of canola oil.
(6) Sesame Oil
Another great alternative for the ghee is the sesame oil which is an edible vegetable oil derived from sesame seeds.
This edible oil can be used not only for cooking but can also be sprinkled over the food, and be used as a salad dressing. It can also be used for stir-frying as its aroma enhances the flavor of the dish.
Cooking food in sesame oil is good for us as it strengthens our cardiovascular system and also regulates blood sugar level.
(7) Soybean Oil
Soybean oil which is extracted from soya beans is another substitute for the ghee. It can be used for baking purposes, and also during the preparation of mayonnaise as it gives a healthy boost and adds a great flavor to the dish. It is a good source of healthy fatty acids such as Omega-3 fatty acids and polyunsaturated fats. However, it’s important to keep an eye on the quantity as an excess of it can have negative effects.
(8) Sunflower Oil
The next on our list which can be used as a ghee substitute is the sunflower oil. It is obtained by cold pressing the seeds of a sunflower. When it comes to cooking then sunflower oil can be used for pan-frying, and as well as for the salad dressings.
The information contained in the post is for general purpose only and shouldn’t be considered as medical advice or as an alternative to medical advice. Although I’ve tried my best to keep the information contained in this post as accurate and updated as possible, I make no guarantee of the accurateness of the same.
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Bharat Sharma is a Delhi-based writer who loves reading and writing research-based topics revolving around health, fitness, and nutrition. His love for writing started during his teenage and continues till date. After his graduation, he worked for GE Money, and IBM, but later found his true love i.e. blogging.